A 40-feet-long endangered whale has washed ashore in an estuary close to Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha's Kendrapara district, Forest department officials said Saturday. The gargantuan mammal weighed around 12 tonnes. "It has become an uphill task for the Forest personnel to extricate the mammal's body from the estuary near Talchua coast. We are planning to press into service a crane to remove the marine animal's body," said Forest Range Officer, Subrat Patra. The whale has washed ashore on Friday. The mammal's body bore injury marks. The species figures in the list of threatened marine species. The mammal is a schedule-I species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
We are still undecided whether to bury the carcass after its post mortem, said the forest official. As there are injury marks, the mammal might have perished after being hit by either ship or trawl propellers. After necessary legal formalities like post mortem examination are over, we would seek suggestion from department high-ups regarding preservation of the skeletal remains of the whale, he said. Many curious villagers including fishermen thronged the estuary site to witness the giant whale. The whale is in a decomposed state and had scars and evidence of entanglements. Entanglements are common with this particular type of species because of their feeding habits, according to Forest officials.
(With inputs from agencies.)